Healthsheet

Preventing Falls in the Home

Preventing Falls in the Home

As you get older, falls are more likely for many reasons. One reason is because your reaction time slows. Your muscles and joints may also get stiffer, making them less flexible and therefore more prone to injury. Illness, medicines, and vision changes can also affect your balance. This increases your risk of falling. A fall could leave you unable to live on your own. To make your home safer, follow these tips:

Floors

Make floors safer by doing the following:

  • Put nonskid pads under area rugs.
  • Remove throw rugs.
  • Replace worn floor coverings.
  • Tack carpets firmly to each step on carpeted stairs. Put nonskid strips on the edges of uncarpeted stairs.
  • Keep floors and stairs free of clutter and cords.
  • Arrange furniture so there are clear pathways.
  • Clean up any spills right away.

Bathrooms

Make bathrooms safer by doing the following:

  • Install grab bars in the tub or shower.
  • Apply nonskid strips or put a nonskid rubber mat in the tub or shower.
  • Sit on a bath chair to bathe.
  • Use bathmats with nonskid backing.

Lighting

Tips to light your way:

  • Keep a flashlight in each room.
  • Put a nightlight along the pathway between the bedroom and the bathroom.